Author: Scarlett Kol
Genre: YA Paranormal
Rating: 5 Stars
“When night falls, all hell breaks loose…
Senior year was supposed to be the best year of Berkley’s life—until it turned into a nightmare. Parental problems, boyfriend issues, scholarship competitions, and volleyball playoffs have her so stressed she can’t sleep. But when an insomnia driven excursion leads her to cross paths with some amateur witches, she’ll wish she stayed in bed.
Now she can finally sleep, but doesn’t seem to get any rest. Each day blurs into the next as strange things start happening around her. Dark, sinister things that tie back to Berkley, except she can’t remember any of them.
Desperate to regain control of her own life, she searches for an explanation to her night-time amnesia. The answer will drag Berkley and her friends into a dangerous world of magic and mayhem—one where she may never wake up.”
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Scarlett Kol has already proved herself a competent, entertaining, and unpredictable author in my eyes after I read and reviewed her book Wicked Descent a few years ago. Sleepless, in my opinion, is another big win for this author.
Sleepless follows Berkley, a high-school student with big ambitions and a shot at a Princeton scholarship. Her best friends Lane and Ethan stuck by her after her mother took off and her dad sinks into an alcohol-fuelled depression. Over the past few months Berkley has spiralled into a state of mind that has isolated her from her friends and family, as she struggles with insomnia.
In the middle of the night, Berkley sees a strange light outside and goes to investigate. When she wakes up the next morning, she barely remembers what happened but strange things begin to happen. Her insomnia gone, Berkley now wakes up with dead mice in her backpack and to people telling her she has been walking and driving around town in the middle of the night. When her night-time alter ego breaks into her ex-boyfriend’s house and threatens him with a knife, she knows she has a problem.
A group of local witches confess to having accidentally caused a ghost to possess Berkley and it is now their responsibility to remove it before she hurts anyone – or herself.
This book is slow burn in terms of action but the feels run deep. Sleepless addresses mental illness, grief, and the struggles of trying to cope without the support of parental figures – and it does a great job. Berkley’s point of view is a true look into mental health issues and how anyone considered gifted can be derailed by it without the correct support. Luckily, Berkley has her friends on hand as a solid support system.
Sleepless is a well-written, highly emotive, and thoroughly unpredictable novel with lots of promise for sequels if such things are on the cards. Personally, I’m rooting for Berkley to get into witchcraft! This is a perfect book for anyone who enjoys a slower paced read that luxuriates over the feelings of the characters. There is a lot of empathy to be found between these pages for anyone who has struggled with mental health, especially during their teenage years.
I’m giving sleepless the full five out of five stars and The Secret Library recommended reads seal!
Sleepless is currently available on all major publishing platforms at this link, so grab your copy if this sounds like your kind of book!
Thanks for reading! Grab your copy of my new urban fantasy romance novel, Valkyrie Cursed, here!